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tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 9, 2015 3:00am-3:31am EDT

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the e.u. is about to announce its plan to tackle the refugees crisis that is dividing europe. australia says it will resettle thousands of refugees from the middle east and launch air strikes against isil in syria. ♪ ♪ hello, i am martin dennis you are with al jazeera live from doha. also to come on the program. protecting the iran nuclear deal, the u.s. president gets the support needs to block republican opposition. plus. move over, digital technology, vintage cameras are making a
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comeback in hong kong. find out why. ♪ ♪ the european commission president is announcing plans to tackle europe's worst refugees crisis since world war ii. this is the scene live in the chamber in strasburg as we await this momentum declaration that we are expecting to go come from the president. now, under this proposal, 120,000 asylum seekers will be distributed among e.u. member countries with binding quotas. the number of refugees to be resettled in one country depends on that nation's wealth, population, unemployment right, and the number of asylum applicants already processed. now, countries refusing to take in refugees could face financial penalties.
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germany which has the largest number of refugees has already backed the idea. it has welcomed syrian refugees, waiving e.u. rules and saying it expect to deal with more than 800,000 asylum seekers this year a loping. now, sweeped, that's another country that is in favor, it's taken the highest number of refugees in relation to its population, butt czech h republ, slovakia, poe land poland and rd hungary has opposed the quote as. let's go live to jacky rowland who is in strasburg just as we await the announcement 120,000 is what they are dealing with in thiinthis instance i butts it's0 in all? >> reporter: well, to actually
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look at the the way the numbers accumulated. back in june there was a meeting similar to to somewhere ministers were asked to rego a voluntary quota system to absolve. the 40,000 asylum seekers already in the e.u. on. that occasion the proposal was thrown out. they were not willing to work with that, ministers right across the board to accept 40,000. three months later that number was quadrupled given the extraordinary summer of travel that we have seen, those journey journeys across the mediterranean. the number we are talking about in the european union, 160,000. bearing in mind that the e.u. failed to get e.u. states to sign up to 40,160,000 gives you
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the why in which this crisis has spiraled. one thing to say, though, germany, france and, spain have already said they will absorb the lion's share of the refugees. they will take 60% of that figure. that still leaves many 10s of thousands of refugees that other e.u. countries are going to be asked to take. >> we are hearing the language binds asking mandatory. does that moon that those countriecountries that don't ado the quota they have been allocated, that they will be punished? >> reporter: it's again france and germany who have very much been at the forefront of this push to get mandatory quota adopted. that's the proposal from them at the moment. the question really is where these different refugees are coming from. and if you permit, martin, i would like to distinguish here, make a distinction between relocation and resettle: we hear this jargon but it's actually important.
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relocation is talking about finding new homes for refugees who are already inside the e.u. to relocate them from, say, greece, hungary or italy to a host nation such as germany, austria, sweeped, or whatever. resettled. is different. resettle. means actually going to the camps in the front line states. identifying very need a jefes and bringing them direct to a european country. that's what you want nighted kingdom said they will do. not those there are there. we shouldn't favor those that could pay the people smugglers in favor of those against the ones sitting in camps. if they could organize asylum
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seeking in this way with people buying air tickets instead of paying smugglers it would be a lot of safer. >> what has merged it eastern european countries, versus western european countries, many of whom are new to the european union. >> reporter: one is the type of refugees they would accept. there is an outcry in the european union as a say result f some lead nurse east turn europe, suggesting they only want christian refugees. we know very well about the way in which some christian communities have been persecuted and hounded in places like syria. but just today, just at the time of this meeting is really getting underway. the french interior minister has come out very strongly
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condemning that kind of language. the french prime minister as well said refugees, the right toy asylum is an absolute right. we can't start according it depending on religion. if a person is persecuted. if a person is in need they should be accepted regardless of their religion. so that's the kind of controversy that's raging here across europe. as ministers try to get to grip with a crisis really which has overtaken anyone's expectation. has really laid bare many of the shortcomings in materials of how the european union functions. >> indeed. as we await the speech, it seems very much as though there is almost a league table merging as well in terms of refugees, those most needy, clearly from syria and iraq, but how does the european union view those who are escaping from afghanistan,
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eritrea and indeed from other subsaharan african countries? >> reporter: as you say there is black, there is white and, there is gray, and there are a lot of gray areas. for example in, afghanistan some places might be more dangerous than others. certainly the european union doesn't see it as a place that's currently ripped apart from war in the way that syria, is but neversnevertheless, we see attas there, car bombings there it's clearly a place which is far from stable. so the e.u. is apparently going to be looking at proposals, certainly this is one of the proposal ises that we are picturing jean cloud juncker to put on the table. the result are yous where refugees attend to arrive first, italy, greece, and hungary.
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124e8d make their request and the dos i can't would be open and at that stage before they start traveling through hungary, macedonia, whatever, there would be a selection process. the e.u. needs to and says it will drawn a table of countries which it deems to be at war where people are at risk of persecution and other countries which it deems to be safe. just to give you an idea of the kind of countries when the e.u. considers safe, but where in fact there have already been a lot of ey arrivals. apparently almost half of those asylum seekers in germany who have requested riff gee status, come from countries in the western balkans places like albania, -- >> jack i, can i jump in. [speaking at the same time] >> can i jump in there, jacky, because we are now going live to the chamber to listen to jean-claude juncker the
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president of the european commission. >> translator: as president of the commission for the very first time in my short life to give a state of the union address in this chamber. as luxembourg prime minister frequently, i think to be precise it was 20 times that i gave a state of the nation speech. but anyway, mostly i go gotta plowedded after the speech. people disagreed as to the substance, but everybody seem to agree that it was too long. so today that -- i run that same danger. i have not actually drafted or been able to draft this speech
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under normal conditions and you probably guess why or are some of know why. but i will try to conclude in good style. it -- the speech takes place in the framework agreement between the european parliament and the european commission. which has been concluded between us. and in that framework, the president of the commission, that's the first half the september in fact, comes to the parliament and does a q & a session on the prior year, and work that we tabled to the house to cover what the commission is doing over the next fews moose, say a year, it's really the priorities of the commission which are involved. and the of the european union.
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and to that end, -- inning up have received those priorities in writing. i have made the left available and a peppedded t appended to ta document about how we will deal with the 10 working priorities of the commission. a statement of itch at the present time. i am not going do deal with all of those topics today. i am not doing that to be impolite to you, but it is in writing. and. [ inaudible ] has also put things in writing.
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the parliament has received that corpus in writing. but what i am trying do today is not go this to all the details but try to make the general picture more understandable. if you like, i am the first president of the commission who is in a way directly endorsed, including by the vote of the european parliament, that was my direct path to office. right from the very beginning the fact when i was speaking to you on the 14th of june laying out my stall to you, i made it quite clear that i intent to make the commission more political. and therefore the president of the commission because of the
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democratic procedures and the nomination procedures would also be a political president. when i say political, basically i mean political in the very best connotations of that word. we are politicians, i feel like political people rather than just politicians, these days in french anyway it's got a bad connotation. so this in the best connotation as you say in english we are politicians, by political i don'idon't mean that we are goio politicize everything, that's not our wish, i just want to say that i really do feel that know is not the time to go ahead willie nilly, business as usual. please don't feel that's the case. [applause] don't count up how
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many times i use the word social. just take it that my heart is full of the social. and don't count how many times i use economic, monetary or budget, those words. very often people will make rather empty speeches about this. now we have to be frank. it really the bell tolls, the time has come. we have to look overtly at the huge issues with which the ube peen union is now confronted and that's what i want to focus on now. our european union, i don't really want to fall in to dispond, but it's not in a good situation. there is no point of the
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presents and the commission the representatives of the european democracy and the peoples of europe to just put things in rosy colors. no, we are not in a good place. [applause] >> there is a lack of european in this union and a lack of union in this union. [applause] >> translator: and that has to change. we have to change it, and now. work together to that end. i think that is the remit that we have got from the european electorate. and that actually corresponds to the remit you gave to me. i don't know why you are becoming nervous when you are
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speaking about the european union. [ inaudible ] >> you can't interrupt me. [ inaudible ] >> [applause] >> mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, whatever work programs or legislative agendas, say the first priority today is and must be the refugees crisis. since the beginning of the year, nearly 500,000 people have made their way to europe. the vast majority of them are fleeing from syria, the terror
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of the islamic state in libya, or dictatorship in eritrea. the most effected number states are with over 200,000 refugees, hungary, with more or less 150,000, and italy with 120,000. the numbers are impressive. for some, they are frightening. but now is not the time to take fright. it is a time for both determined concerted action by the european union, by it's number states and by it's institutions. the first of all the matters before other considerations is the matter of humanity and human
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dignity. and for europe it's also a matter of historical terms. [applause] we europeans, we are all ear peens here. okay. i am note that go you do think that you are not europeans. well said, but not well done. this is note a time to take fright, it's a time of humanity and human dignity. we europeans, i thought before the interruption, all of us should remember that our is up a continent, w where nearly everye
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has at one time been a rear view gee. our history is marked by million of europeans freeing from religious or political persecution, from dictatorship, from oppression. not fleeing from france in the 17th century. jewjews, roma, many others fleeg from germany during the nazi era of the '30s and the '40s of the last sen tire i, spanish republicans fleeing to refugees camps in southern france at the end of the 1930s after their defeat in the civil war. hungarian revolution assists freeing to austria and elsewhe elsewhere, everywhere in europe after their uprising. [applause] after their uprising
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against colin assists who were oppressed by soviet tanks in 1956. czech, slovak citizens, seeking exile in other countries, including mine after the oppression of the spring in 1968. hundreds, hundreds of thousands were forced to flee from their homes after and during the yugoslav wars. that was by the end of the last century. not centuries ago, by the end of the last century. in the last decade of the 20th century. have we forgotten that there was a reason there are more mcdonald's living in the united states than in the entire population of scotland?
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there is a reason the number of o'neals and murphies in u.s. exceeds by far those living in ireland. have we forgotten that 20 million people of polish ancestry live outside poland. as a result of political and economic immigration after if the many forced expulsions and resettlements during poland's so often painful history. have we really for gotten that after of the second world war, 60 million people were refugees in europe. that as a result of this terrible european experience, a global protection regime in 951 geneva convention on the status of refugees was established to grant refuge to those who jumped the walls in europe to escape
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from war and total oppression. we europeans should know and should never forget why leaving refuge and complying with the fundamental right to asylum is so important. the fundamental right to asylum is one the most important international and european values, he should not forget that. [applause] >> i have said in this house and elsewhere in the past that we are too seldom proud of our european heritage and our european project. yes, in spite of our fragility and our weaknesses, ourself
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perceived weaknesses today it is europe that is thought worldwide as a place of refuge and exile. it is europe today that represents a place of hope for men in the middle east and africa. this is something that i have to say this year, this is something to be proud of, not something to fear. [applause] you know today, ladies and gentlemen, in spite of many differences, amongst the member states, it is by far the wealthiest place and the most stable continent in the world. those who are criticizing the european integration, the our construction the european union have to admit that this is the
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place of peace and this is the place of first ability and we should be proud of this. we have -- we have -- [applause] >> we have the means to help those fleeing from war, terror, owe brings. i know that many now will want to say that this is all very well, but you cannot take everybody. it is true that europe cannot house all the misery of the world, but let us be honest and put things in to perspective. there is certainly an important and unprecedented number of refugees coming to europe at the moment. however, they still represent just 0.11% of the total european union population.
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11 by comparison, refugees represent 25% of the population in a country which has only "101 east" five of the welt little we do enjoy in the european union, who are we that we are never making this kind comparisons. who are we? [applause] let us be clear and honest with our often worried citizens as long as there is war in syria and lob no one, this will never go away. we can be fence says, but imagine for a second if it were
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you, four child in your arms, the world you knew torn apart around you, there is no price you would not pay. there is no wall you would not climb, no sea you would not go to feel, no border you would not cross if it is a war of the. [ inaudible ] and the so-called islamic state that you are fleeing. we are fighting against islamic state. why are we not ready to accept those who are fleeing the islamic state? we have to accept these people on the european territory. [applause] >> it is high time to act, to
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manage the refugees crisis, because there is no alternative to this. there has been a lot of finger pointing not enough finger painting, but too much fink pointing in the past weeks. member states have accused each other of not doing enough or doing the wrong thing. and more often than no fingers have been pointed from national capitalists to brussels, brussels is always accused if member states are failing, if member states are not doing their job, brussels, the commission, the european parliament is accused of not doing the job. [applause] we could all be -- not all. the majority of this house and myself and my commission, we could be angry about this blame
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game. but up wonder who that would serve. being angry does not help anyone. blaming others does not help the refugees and the migrants. and the attempt of blaming others is often just a sign that politicians, policy makers, sometimes lawmakers are overwhelmed by unexpected events. instead, we should -- rather recall what has been agreed that can help in the current situation. it is time to look at what is on the table and move swiftly forward. we are not starting anew. since the early years of this century, the commission, not mine, the one of jose manuel barbosa, has persistly tabled legislation after legislation to build a common european asylum
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system. and the parliament and the council have neglected this legislation, piece by piece, and the last piece of legislation enter in to force just in july 2015. two months ago. because we now have common standards for the way we receive asylum seekers in respect of their dignity, for the way we process their asylum applications, and we have common criteria which our independent justice system uses to determine whether someone is entitled to international protection. but these standards, members of parliament, these standards need to be immaterial poligh implemed respected